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Can you make it pop?
November 8, 2012 1:31 PM   Subscribe

Ad creatives, designers, animators, directors, illustrators and more have taken time out to dress up their favourite worst feedback from clients, transforming quotes that would normally give you a twitch, into a diverse collection of posters.
posted by Fleebnork (52 comments total) 36 users marked this as a favorite

 
'The dog is Off-Brand' has got to be my favourite one.
posted by anaximander at 1:34 PM on November 8, 2012 [1 favorite]


"I did this in Microsoft Paint" is the designer's version of "I made this in Visual Basic (or Access)" for programmers.
posted by Old'n'Busted at 1:35 PM on November 8, 2012 [2 favorites]


Scratch that, my favourite is 'We can't use the national anthem, it's too IRA'. I'd love to have been there for that one.
posted by anaximander at 1:36 PM on November 8, 2012


Ahhh came here to mention "The dog is Off-Brand" because, seriously, whose isn't? These are wonderful.

Also the "Too Much White Space" could make for a great anti-gentrification poster.
posted by griphus at 1:40 PM on November 8, 2012 [1 favorite]


My personal favorite is LO-RES??? because I get that at work All. The. Time.
posted by Fleebnork at 1:44 PM on November 8, 2012


Why can't a dog be off-brand?
posted by solmyjuice at 1:45 PM on November 8, 2012


I really feel for that snowman.
posted by janepanic at 1:46 PM on November 8, 2012


I liked this one. You can tell from the baby's expression, s/he knows what's up.
posted by hurdy gurdy girl at 1:49 PM on November 8, 2012 [1 favorite]


See perhaps also http://skeu.it/. Which if you know what it is, you'll know what you're getting.
posted by boo_radley at 1:54 PM on November 8, 2012 [1 favorite]


Too soon man.

Too soon.
posted by The Whelk at 1:56 PM on November 8, 2012


Is it just me or are some of these just awesome ways to phrase banal things? My job is a far cry from any of the things described above, but man I would love to say in a meeting "The target audience is males and females aged zero and up".
posted by staccato signals of constant information at 1:57 PM on November 8, 2012 [1 favorite]


staccato signals of constant information: "Is it just me or are some of these just awesome ways to phrase banal things? My job is a far cry from any of the things described above, but man I would love to say in a meeting "The target audience is males and females aged zero and up"."
We'd like to down-punchy this message a bit.
posted by boo_radley at 1:59 PM on November 8, 2012 [1 favorite]


does the title "creative" make anyone else irritable?
posted by Dr. Twist at 2:11 PM on November 8, 2012 [6 favorites]


But "the target audience is every person" is not a banal statement, it's a stupid one. You can't "target" everyone.
posted by RustyBrooks at 2:12 PM on November 8, 2012


Whatever this one says, the client was right. The designer is a dumbass.

Also: my boss asked me to spin an object around in photoshop the other day*. I'm currently seeking a new job.

*To be fair, the object was a cone shape and the other side was blank, I removed the printing from the cone, and he seemed happy. I feel for the next person to get my job, "Our last designer could spin an object around! Why can't you!?
posted by 1f2frfbf at 2:15 PM on November 8, 2012 [1 favorite]


I've been in way too many client meetings where some up and comer repeatedly chimes in with unhelpful or simply aimless commentary just to have their voice heard.

I see two of them on that page. "Can you make it pop?" and "Can we jazz it up a little?" other favorites include "How can we use some rap music on this spot?" by the insurance agency and "Can we make that kid look more ethnic? You can to that in Photoshop, right?" by a national retail store chain.

While I wasn't present for the actual meeting, an ex-coworker met with the "I'm the target market and I don't like it. You're obviously too old to understand what I mean." He was 43, and left the company shortly after that debacle. Last I heard from him, he got his dream job teaching history.

More and more I feel like the Dunning-Krueger effect is leading us ever so gently to the B ark.
posted by Sphinx at 2:16 PM on November 8, 2012 [2 favorites]


Am I missing something, or is the interface a complete pain in the ass?

-- Ha - make a poster out that you artists!

I do like a bunch of these, but wish there were some next > <prev buttons.
posted by arkham_inmate_0801 at 2:18 PM on November 8, 2012 [3 favorites]


Back in the day, I saw a site like this that had, "Can you give the landlord a landlord-hat?"
posted by StickyCarpet at 2:22 PM on November 8, 2012 [1 favorite]


My boss hasn't a clue about design, but she's one of those people who likes to get her finger in the pie, so she has a playbook:

1) Drop shadow
2) Bevel it
3) Center it
4) Force Justify text
5) Align with _______

Any given project will have at least one of those written on the proof.
posted by Fleebnork at 2:23 PM on November 8, 2012 [1 favorite]


"I have printed it out, but the animated GIF isn't moving?"
YHBT. YHL. HAND.
posted by brokkr at 2:23 PM on November 8, 2012 [2 favorites]


Aww, off-brand dogs are the best. Off-brand cats, too.
posted by Metroid Baby at 2:30 PM on November 8, 2012


RustyBrooks, why can't you target everyone?
I'm not suggesting it's a good strategy, but I don't think it's a literal impossibility. If you think "targeting" requires very specific exclusion, then just allow that they are selecting humans out of all sentient beings and beasts.
posted by staccato signals of constant information at 2:34 PM on November 8, 2012


and yeah, I would maintain that claiming "we want to sell to everyone!" is pretty banal in the sense of it being uninspired
posted by staccato signals of constant information at 2:35 PM on November 8, 2012


YHBT. YHL. HAND.

I'm misty-eyed. Oh alt.religion.kibology, how I miss you.
posted by The Bellman at 2:42 PM on November 8, 2012


Yes. I've actually heard about 95% of those, or variations, from clients and employers' minions.
Thank you for reviving long repressed memories.


I'll go cry now...
posted by Thorzdad at 2:45 PM on November 8, 2012


There's definitely a good assortment of silly things clients say, but there are also a lot of terrible posters here.

I wonder who will buy the close up of the asshole.
posted by oneirodynia at 3:12 PM on November 8, 2012 [1 favorite]


does the title "creative" make anyone else irritable?

Yes a thousand times.

Whenever I hear "Hi, jnnla, this is the creative director of the show / spot you are working on" I have to try really hard not to roll my eyes. Partly because I'm a jaded asshole when it comes to my job...but also partly because "Creative Directors" are generally just creative bullshitters and client sycophants.
posted by jnnla at 3:21 PM on November 8, 2012


"but also partly because "Creative Directors" are generally just creative bullshitters and client sycophants."

Well... at least the bad ones. Good ones rock. Good ones can knock out a design direction. Good ones defend their designers and their designer's designs. Good ones.
posted by bz at 3:29 PM on November 8, 2012 [1 favorite]


This would be a good T-shirt.
posted by mazola at 3:53 PM on November 8, 2012 [1 favorite]


arkham_inmate_0801: "Am I missing something, or is the interface a complete pain in the ass? -- Ha - make a poster out that you artists!"

A visual artist is not (necessarily) an interaction designer. It's like asking a painter why he can't fix your camera.
posted by danny the boy at 3:54 PM on November 8, 2012 [1 favorite]


staccato signals of constant information: "RustyBrooks, why can't you target everyone? I'm not suggesting it's a good strategy, but I don't think it's a literal impossibility."

If we promise to agree you are technically correct (the best kind!), will you let us get back to rubbing our palms into our faces as we flash back to the dark times in our careers
posted by danny the boy at 3:58 PM on November 8, 2012 [2 favorites]


I wonder who will buy the close up of the asshole.

Ah, so I wasn't imaging things, that really actually is a close up of somebodies' asshole!

*vomits*

Carry on then.
posted by Doleful Creature at 3:59 PM on November 8, 2012


Great stuff.
posted by flapjax at midnite at 4:19 PM on November 8, 2012


Just to take this too seriously for a moment, these comments may make designers twitch, but some of them are perfectly legitimate criticisms. "Too much white space", for example, seems to me to be a common failing of things designed by designers for designers instead of for others. See also "architectural myopia".
posted by oliverburkeman at 4:25 PM on November 8, 2012 [3 favorites]


Some of these made me want to put my head down on my desk and leave it there.

Also: Too blocky.
posted by scratch at 4:29 PM on November 8, 2012


"I'll Know What I Want When I See It!"

Steve Jobs said that. Apparently he was hard to work with.

There are four kinds of clients:

1) I know what I want & I'm not too fussy.
2) I know what I want & I'm fussy.
3) I don't know what I want & I'm not too fussy.
4) I don't know what I want & I'm really fvcking fussy why can't you just telepathically delve through the cruddy layers of thickness encrusted in my neural tissues don't you have that technology available you're supposed to be high tech and all of that stuff?
posted by ovvl at 4:30 PM on November 8, 2012 [4 favorites]


It often helps to leave an obvious typo in the header; it gives the client something to mark and less time to think about it needing to "pop".

Sadly the ones who miss giant typos also tend to think you need everything 3D so it doesn't work on them.
posted by emjaybee at 4:47 PM on November 8, 2012 [3 favorites]


Ohhh, I get to post a link to one of my favourite sites: Clients from Hell.
posted by deborah at 5:01 PM on November 8, 2012 [1 favorite]


I've had plenty of advertisers want me to change something in their "add." And another one demanded the ad be in Calibri.
posted by stltony at 5:18 PM on November 8, 2012


An enduring favourite of mine was for a campaign where everything was to have a theme of being circular, and one of the ideas featured a university/place of learning. We showed a lovely design featuring the Bodleian Library of Oxford University and it went down like a lead balloon. A bit puzzled, as it fit the brief exactly, we asked for clarification on what the problem was - the reply came: "We don't like that mosque you've used"
posted by tardigrade at 5:28 PM on November 8, 2012 [4 favorites]


I have a little moan to the nearest person whenever I see a low res image in an otherwise professional print, but I'm pretty sure normals just don't notice it at all any more. I'm not sure they ever did.

I suppose that's probably true about quite a lot of the things that irk designers (no one's going "Ugh, look at that terrible keming, I'm switching to Pepsi."), but I wish I could point to a study that suggests that there is actually an effect of shoddy design on customers' perceptions of a brand.
posted by lucidium at 5:29 PM on November 8, 2012


Can you warm that up WITHOUT making it any redder?
posted by bz at 5:36 PM on November 8, 2012


"I wish I could point to a study that suggests that there is actually an effect of shoddy design on customers' perceptions of a brand."

Not a study but a definite impact on customer perception due to design.
posted by bz at 5:39 PM on November 8, 2012


Can you warm that up WITHOUT making it any redder?

Well, actually you could make it more yellow, which is probably what that person is talking about. I know this runs counter to the intended spirit, and some of these are truly ridiculous, but some are just people who don't quite have the right vocabulary to describe something they have in mind. That's okay; part of the job of any professional in any field is to know what laymen are talking about and how to translate that into the more specific language of the profession.

When you go to visit your doctor, you don't have to know the latin terminology for your symptoms. You expect to be able to say "it hurts here, but only when I do this" and have the doctor figure out the rest. Designers have to be able to do the same thing.

Still, there's no excuse for "Irish people can't read italics".
posted by echo target at 7:00 PM on November 8, 2012 [4 favorites]


Um, no, you can't target everyone. You can try to appeal to everyone, but target means you are focusing on something and "everyone" is not a focus. No serious business would have a marketing strategy of reaching everyone alive. Why not also say you are going to make every product and provide every service? Those kinds of statements ("targeting everyone") remind me of various startups I worked with that were run by fresh MBAs whose only real goal was to suck as much money out of everyone else as they could.

My favorite client interaction ever happened when I was working with then-Daimler-Chrysler. We met with some sort of subgroup there and showed them a design for a new Web site. One of the members of the client team immediately turned sour and finally said "I really don't like this mustard color. I just don't like the taste of mustard. This is all wrong." One of the other members of the team thankfully turned to her and said "That's our corporate gold color. We can't change that."
posted by Slothrop at 7:22 PM on November 8, 2012 [3 favorites]


Oh my god the "I want you to break the Internet" poster needs to be above my desk right now
posted by These Birds of a Feather at 7:35 PM on November 8, 2012 [1 favorite]


When you go to visit your doctor, you don't have to know the latin terminology for your symptoms. You expect to be able to say "it hurts here, but only when I do this" and have the doctor figure out the rest. Designers have to be able to do the same thing.

Absolutely! Though many clients would sooner die of a treatable ailment than not stick their grubby paws into an elegant design.

The doctor analogy is a neat one, though. Imagine a patient has described their symptoms (it's a chest infection!) and has received your recommendation for treatment (antibiotics and bed rest!). The patient then explains to you that no, that's not really what they're after, and they would actually prefer to be treated with a leg cast. Because they want people to be able to write on it. And if you won't give them a leg cast, that's okay, because they'll go to another doctor who will.

If you're a bad doctor who just gives the patient what they want, they get a leg cast and go away and get sicker or die or whatever, and probably think you're a lousy doctor because the way you treated them didn't work. Or maybe you're a really bad doctor, and they did have a broken leg after all.

If you're a smart doctor, you explain to the patient why the right treatment is the right treatment. Then, if the patient has enough money to make it worthwhile, they convince the patient to break their leg and get the cast as well.

All that aside, I want the banana drop poster.
posted by not the fingers, not the fingers at 7:42 PM on November 8, 2012 [8 favorites]


danny the boy: "A visual artist is not (necessarily) an interaction designer. It's like asking a painter why he can't fix your camera."

It's more like asking a painter why he can't open a door or flush a toilet. I'm a translator, for god's sake, and I know how to code a "Next" link.
posted by Bugbread at 8:11 PM on November 8, 2012


YOLO!
posted by Schadenfreude at 8:32 PM on November 8, 2012


When you go to visit your doctor, you don't have to know the latin terminology for your symptoms. You expect to be able to say "it hurts here, but only when I do this"

Whereupon the doctor, of course, says "so don't do that!"
posted by flapjax at midnite at 5:03 AM on November 9, 2012


I love "jazz it up." I'm not a designer but I played one at my last job, and I got that a lot. This one woman would put together horrible flyers in Word and then ask me to "dress it up" - which basically meant I would create a new flyer in InDesign. Then she would get miffed when I would send her the PDF and not my "original."
posted by radioamy at 11:24 AM on November 9, 2012


This reminds me of an anecdote from Bill Goldman's book Adventures in the Screen Trade.
Allan Burns, a writer friend, recently emerged from a creative meeting in which the studio head had only this comment to make: "The script's got to be twenty-five percent funnier."

A few weeks later, the guy asked for the rewrites. Allan, who created the Mary Tyler Moore Show and can be funnier than most people, replied, "Well, I'm only eighteen percent funnier so far, which means I've got to be thirty-one percent funnier the rest of the way."

And the studio head didn't know it was a joke: What he said was, after some thought, "Sounds about right." (p.96)
posted by urbanwhaleshark at 5:15 AM on November 11, 2012 [1 favorite]


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